My rookie mistake: the base line
The light in the beautyheaven ladies' room can only be described as ugly. Bug-filled fluorescents bouncing off beige walls (very glam!) do not kind-to-your-complexion lighting make. The only upside of such unforgiving conditions is that at least you know what you're really dealing with.
But sometimes it really shocks you with the ugly truth. Like today, when it showed me I'd forgotten the fundamentals of foundation...
It was a beauty schoolgirl's mistake. And I'm blaming it on the sun. Encouraged by the unseasonably sunshiny weather in Sydney, I switched my usual face base for a new 30+ foundation this morning. It went on like a dream – adequate coverage, smooth and semi-matte – and I coasted out of my apartment and into work feeling quite pleased with myself.
I walked around, smugly, wearing it for hours. Then, in the bathroom mirror … bam! Demarcation lines. Smudgy hairline. Smugness gone.
I'd forgotten the first rule of foundation: always eyeball it in the cold, hard light of day before strutting out the door.
I'd beat myself up about it (bad beauty editor!), if I didn't know that millions of women are also making some sort of foundation fudge right now. The face basics are just so easy to get wrong (or forget, apparently).
So let's recap. The five fundamentals of foundation:
• Treat new products like potential boyfriends: check them in natural light before committing. I make sure I've got a compact mirror in my bag so I can pop outside the shop if necessary.
• Don’t test foundation anywhere but on your face. Your hand is not where you'll be wearing fundation, so why try to match it? A trial on your naked jaw line is best.
• Don't try to fake a tan with foundation. That's what facial self-tans and bronzers are for.
• Blend, blend again and check yourself in profile. See a seam? Work it out with your fingers or a sponge and to remove make-up from your hairline or brows, use a damp cotton tip. Remover or moisturiser can leave behind an obvious line.
• Don't expect too much from foundation. Using a concealer to conceal while only asking foundation to even your tone guarantees you won't overdo it.
Well, that's my strategy for outsmarting ugly lighting anyway. What's yours?